Improvements to the number of resuscitation bays and access for ambulances at King George Hospital's emergency department (ED) have been completed as part of a £5million project.

Upgrade work at the Barley Lane, Goodmayes site has reached the halfway stage, according to Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT).

A trust spokesperson said the number of "resus" bays has doubled to six in the adult ED, while the number of beds for patients with serious illnesses and injuries has been increased.

The ambulance entrance has been reconfigured to improve access, while a new first treatment area for assessing patients has been brought in.

BHRUT is also introducing a new area with outdoor space for staff to use during breaks in a bid to "safeguard their wellbeing".

Its chief executive Matthew Trainer said: “I’m pleased to see so many exciting changes happening in our ED at King George Hospital and that the ongoing wellbeing of our staff, as well as our patients, is at the forefront of these."

Other improvements in the pipeline include the introduction of two dedicated mental health cubicles for adults and one for children.

A new observation area is also set to be introduced, which the trust said will allow male and female patients to be separated and "safely observed" at the same time.

The trust said it is also working to expand the children's emergency department.

The work will provide more waiting room space and assessment cubicles, as well as the mental health cubicle and a "resus" area for children.

The spokesperson said seriously ill children needing emergency resuscitation are now taken to the adult "resus" area.

Mr Trainer added: “Providing more space specifically for assessing patients with mental health issues is really important and I’m glad to see we are adding a dedicated space for young mental health patients."

The investment in the ED is part of a wider 12 month, £12m spending plan for the hospital, announced in June.

This will also include a £4m redevelopment of the intensive therapy unit (ITU), which will see it increase from eight to 15 beds.